Westbury Court Garden

Over the bank holiday weekend, we set off on a little roadtrip to Westbury Court Garden, a small water garden in Westbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire. I’d seen a few photos of the garden on Instagram a few weeks earlier and intrigued by what I’d seen, decided to check it out.

The garden was created in the late 17th century by Westbury Court’s owner Maynard Colchester, who oversaw the addition of the garden’s canals, pond and pavilion. The manor house was knocked down in 1805 when the Colchester family decamped to another house nearby, but the family kept the garden. Today it’s run by the National Trust, which took it over in a near ruined state in the 1960s and has since restored it to its former glory.

According to the National Trust’s website, the garden is “the only restored Dutch-style water garden” in the UK.

Tall pavilion and vegetable plot at Westbury Court Garden

Westbury Court is located off the A48 between Gloucester and Chepstow, so was easy to get to by car (I’m not sure if would be quite so easy by public transport). We parked in the small car park and then entered the garden via the gate next to the tall pavilion (above).

Canal at Westbury Court Garden

There’s a one-way system in place around the garden because of the Covid-19 restrictions, and after taking a quick look at the tall pavilion, we followed the one-way signs along one of the garden’s attractive canals (above).

'T'-shaped canal at Westbury Court Garden

At the far end of the canal, there was a small pond with a fountain, and from there, we followed the path along the top of the large ‘T’ shaped canal that forms the central part of the garden (above) until we reached the summer house.

Inside the summerhouse, we found information sheets about the history of Westbury Court’s manor houses. There have been various grand residences at Westbury Court since medieval times, but each was demolished in its turn – the most recent, a Victorian incarnation, was knocked down in 1964.

Walled garden at Westbury Court Garden

From the summer house, we popped into the small walled garden adjoining it (above). The garden was home to a number of interesting plants and flowers, but I was particularly taken by the striking irises, of which there were a couple of different varieties.

There was a small overgrown rabbit warren near the walled garden in a nod to the large rabbit warren the garden housed in the 17th century, but despite our best efforts we weren’t able to spot any rabbits amid the foliage.

Lawn and flowers beds at Westbury Court Garden

Having failed to find any rabbits, we continued our stroll through the garden, past various trees, lawns of differing lengths and some neat, perfectly laid-out displays of plants and clipped hedges (above). We ended our walk with a look at the garden’s many vegetable plots (below) and a short stroll along the other side of the first canal we encountered.

Vegetable plots at Westbury Court Garden

Westbury Court Garden is pleasant and attractive, but I was surprised at how small it was. The National Trust’s website suggested it would take around an hour-and-a-half to see everything, but we walked around it in half an hour (and we moved at a snail’s pace, stopping to look at everything we came across).

As charming as it was, it was so small, it wasn’t really worth the long drive to get there and not somewhere I’d recommend going for a day out, although it would be a nice enough place to visit if you happened to be in the area.

As it was only just midday by the time we left the garden, we decided to see what else we could do in the area, stopping first in the town of Lydney and then at a tea house situated off the A48 between Lydney and Chepstow.

Swan House Tea Room, Woolaston

The Swan House Tea Room (above) in Woolaston turned out to be quite the find and more than made up for the slight disappointment of Westbury Court Garden.

Despite not having a reservation, the warm, friendly staff showed us to a table in the tea house’s garden where we ordered cream teas. The tea room had a variety of sweet and savoury scones on offer and I plumped for the raspberry and white chocolate version (below).

Raspberry and white chocolate scones with clotted cream, jam and butter

The warm, crumbly scones, which came with jam, butter, clotted cream and a strawberry, were some of the best scones I’ve ever eaten – they were utterly delicious. And the blue cheese and bacon scones my brother had were just as moreish.

Westbury Court Garden may have been so-so, but the spectacular scones more than made up for any disappointment. I’d happily go back to the Swan House Tea Room time and again (if only it wasn’t quite so far from Cardiff!). Definitely not to be missed if you’re in the Forest of Dean area.


Westbury Court Garden
Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire GL14 1PD
Adults £8, Children £4

Swan House Tea Room,
Cone Valley, Woolaston, near Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 6AD

8 thoughts on “Westbury Court Garden

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  1. Westbury Court Garden looks like a pretty little spot, but like you I’d be disappointed if I’d travelled all that way and seen all there was to see in only thirty minutes. That cream tea looks delicious, though – I’ve never come across raspberry and white chocolate scones!

    Liked by 1 person

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